Austin Jaycees on verge of shutdown; needs new members

The Austin Jaycees are on the verge of shutting down, but hope remains high that the group will recover.

Jaycees President Amie Klouse called a meeting Wednesday night to figure out ways to gather more members. The Jaycees chapter needs to have a minimum of 20 members to stay active, but currently has 19.

“Basically, we only need one more member by the end of the month,” said Jaycees member Danielle Nesvold.

There are four to five members who are about to “age out” of the Jaycees by exceeding the age cutoff of 40 years, and they will need to be replaced by younger members, she said. Only one needs to be replaced right now, but each of the other members has to renew on the anniversary of the month they join, and those dates will trickle out one at a time.

Nesvold said that while calling Wednesday’s meeting had everyone prepared for tense circumstances, the tone ended up being one of excitement. The group etched out ways to encourage new members, including getting word out through Facebook, and future projects it could do.

“We’re not worried about replacing the ones that are aging out, but we’re looking forward to some new blood,” Nesvold said.

Austin Jaycees has been floating between 20 and 25 members for the last three or four years, she said. She expects the number will be back above 20 soon.

“We’re definitely getting a lot of interest from people wanting to join,” she said

The Jaycees do service work for the community geared toward children, including raising money for Christmas gifts, gathering money for school supplies and running a children’s fishing event. The organization helps members build leadership skills along the way.

“I find it a very valuable membership for me,” Nesvold said.

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